The Big 12 Conference has become the definition of excellence in college basketball.
The last two national champions have come from the Big 12 — Baylor in 2021 and Kansas in 2022. Now, the conference may be gaining another elite basketball program with the possible addition of Gonzaga.
It was announced recently that Gonzaga’s athletic director and the Big 12 commissioner, Brett Yormark, met to discuss Gonzaga joining the Big 12. Nothing definite came out of the meeting, but it was a meeting that piqued a lot of interest around college basketball.
The fun thing, or the not so fun thing if you ask some people, is how much we compare conferences. Is the Big 12 better than the SEC? Is the SEC better than the Pac-12 (yes)?
The Big 12 does not necessarily need anything to “compete” with the SEC, the ACC, the Big East or any other conference in college basketball. Like I said, it has become the definition of excellence in the sport — don’t forget, Texas Tech was mere minutes away from a national title in 2019.
If you aren’t familiar with Gonzaga, I won’t make fun of you. It’s not like this program has steadily risen to be one of the best programs in the country. Under Mark Few, the Zags have been to four Elite Eights since 2015 and they’ve been to two national championship games in 2017 and 2021.
If Gonzaga were to join the Big 12, it would add to a growing list of college basketball powerhouses like Kansas, Houston, Baylor and West Virginia. Yes, Houston joins the Big 12 in 2023, along with UCF, BYU and Cincinnati.
Gonzaga does not have a football program. It doesn’t need one. The Big 12 doesn’t need another football program. The Big 12 is feeding its beast, college basketball.
The Big 12 does not need anything to compete with the SEC, the ACC, the Big Ten, the Pac-12 or any other conference. It already has every weapon it could possibly ask for.
Adding Gonzaga? That would be like giving the conference its 10th nuclear weapon.